We don’t know exactly how many men and women cheat on their spouses. But according to surveys – all of which bring us different figures – it appears that between 25 and 35 percent of spouses cheat. Now, in my line of work as a therapist, I usually see people after the cheating has come to light, when a couple is dealing with the fallout. But it’s always interesting to me to note how the affair was discovered in the first place. There are certain patterns…and it doesn’t hurt to be aware of them if you are worried that a partner isn’t being entirely truthful.
Here are some of the most common tip-offs that indicate that a partner MIGHT be having an affair. Keep in mind that an affair usually means a pattern of changes and obvious lies…not just one isolated instance.
To start with, personal habits can change. The most obvious of these are often things like diet, weight changes, makeup, hair, grooming habits in general which improve. Maybe your spouse spends a lot of money on new clothes and buys new and very different underwear, or lingerie. Or maybe he or she wants to start doing new things all by themselves – doesn’t want to include you anymore. Maybe they even quit wearing their wedding ring, or you notice that there are unexplained withdrawals from the bank.
Another way in which affairs show up is when a spouse begins to use their time differently. You might notice sudden changes in schedule that were never discussed with you, and you’re not included, or longer than normal trips to run errands, or they’re unavailable on business trips, whereas they always used to be available when they were away.
One thing to pay attention to is when they are missing 4 hour blocks of time – you don’t see them for 4 hours, and you don’t know where they are. Detectives say that this is because it takes someone about 4 hours to get to a liaison, spend a little time together, and then get back.
Now today, tech secrets are always giveaways. You’ll see somebody with a new private cell phone, or you’ll see that they delete their phone calls from caller ID, or wipe their internet browser history. Or they’ll have lockboxes that you don’t have a key to, or an outside mailbox perhaps, that they’ve never had before. You might notice that they spend a lot of time on the computer when you’re asleep, or they’re on the computer and when you walk by they suddenly log off a website. Or they may have email accounts that you can’t access, or even a blog that you can’t get into. These are all ways of hiding information. And when people are having affairs, what is the most natural thing in the world to do? Hide information.
Naturally, there is a fine line between valuing privacy and using privacy or using that value of privacy as an excuse for deception. That’s why looking at the patterns of a spouse’s behavior is so important, so that you don’t become too focused on just one incident.
When someone is having an affair, chances are they want to deflect attention from the affair. That means they might start picking fights with you for no apparent reason, or they might become more defensive when you ask them simple questions, or you might find that they start to blame you for everything that’s going wrong, either in the relationship or in life.
Sometimes it’s the sex life that changes. So you might notice that your sex life has suddenly ramped up, and is almost like it was when you first met. Or maybe it’s slowed down to a dull roar. That’s because the person having the affair might want to cover their tracks by having a lot more sex with you. Or, they may be so exhausted from the sex they’re having elsewhere that they don’t have any energy to give to you.
Now, one of the most classic bits of evidence has to do with odd occurrences – odd evidence. Strange calls, and the caller hangs up if you answer the phone. Or you smell cologne or perfume on your partner thats not yours. Or you notice there are unexplained scratches or bruises, or suddenly they’re hiding their body – which is to hide unexplained scratches or bruises. Or, obviously, you find condoms – in their wallet or in their briefcase – and you’ve been together a long time, and you thought you were monogamous and exclusive, so there is no reason for them to be carrying condoms.
Now, I kind of hope you’re watching this video because you find the whole subject interesting, and you’re curious, not because you’re suspicious that your spouse is having an affair. But if you are worried, I just want to reassure you that even cheating doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship. Painful as it is, many couples do pull their relationship back together, and are able to start fresh in the aftermath of an affair.